3 Steps to E-commerce Conversion Optimization
E-commerce success is primarily measured in sales or “conversions.” So a good percentage of your time is most likely focused on finding ways to boost sales.
Typically, we apply a broad, brute force approach: bring in more visitors and you get more sales. Say your conversion rate is 2% and you have 10,000 visitors a month, generating 200 sales a month. If you double your traffic to 20,000 visitors each month, you’ll generally double your sales as well, to 400 a month (assuming, for the sake of argument, all other variables don’t change).
The obvious place to concentrate that effort is in growing your organic (free) traffic to your site through search engine optimization (SEO). And you may also have an active PPC or Google Adwords campaign, and, hopefully, you are engaged in email marketing and social media to increase engagement with your clients and stay top of mind.
But SEO and other forms of brute force marketing are sometimes not enough. You have to optimize for conversion.
Imagine instead, you lift your conversion rate, by just 1 percentage point, to 3%. Now you’ll see 300 sales per month. And if then, you double your traffic, the same 20,000 visits will produce 600 sales each month rather than 400 — an increase of 300% rather than 200%.
It’s way more efficient. And it’s usually way easier, to convince more of the people who are already on your site, to buy, than to find more to come and then buy.
So how does this work? How do you increase your conversion rate?
The Basics of Conversion Optimization
Here are the 3 key steps you need to take to ensure robust conversion rates:
1. Add a clear call-to-action on every page, so a visitor will always know what to do next
You have traffic. Now what? A prospect who lands on any page on your site from search, email, an ad, or anywhere, needs to know what to do next. And you only have a few seconds to make that clear, with a very strong, obvious and compelling call-to-action.
Many e-commerce sites don’t make the “Add-To-Cart” or “Buy Now” stand out enough. And they clutter the checkout process with side offers and unrelated content. Instead, make the Add-to-Cart and all other steps necessary to finalize a purchase obvious and clear.
Rather than simply push traffic to your site and hope for the best, you need to control what happens when a visitor arrives at your site. Every page needs an unambiguous, primary call-to-action. And product listings should be available for purchase from the intial page (don’t make a user click three clicks until they see a price or a promotion). .
On your product pages, give visitors all the information they need – up front — to make a buying decision. That means product price, possible size/color variants, availability, reviews and/or testimonials, product demos, cross-sells and up-sells, and more. On your shopping cart page, make shipping and tax information obvious as well. And at the same time, continually boost their confidence levels with secure shopping badges and multiple payment methods.
3. Make checkout ridiculously easy
You may have implemented “cart abandonment” functionality to recapture abandoned shopping carts by e-mailing users and offering, say, free shipping or other incentives to persuade them to click back and complete their otherwise lost orders. That’s a great thing to do, often significantly improving conversion rates. But don’t rely on cart abandonment clean-up alone. Do what you can to minimize the need for it by removing the barriers and obstacles to completing a purchase. (Did you know that the primary reason for cart abandonment is shipping costs?)
Don’t complicate the checkout process. Keep it simple. Declutter as much as possible. Once your visitor is in the checkout funnel, remove external links and offers. Make it easy to sail through checkout to the receipt page — and more difficult to go back and browse some more. Remove distractions.
Create a positive, supportive user experience on your site, enabling your visitors to find the solutions they seek, or the products they need, easily and quickly. Guide them from one page to the next, with clear calls-to-action, and links to related and supporting info. Make checkout easy, secure, and hassle-free. And your conversion rates will rise significantly!
And most importantly, use analytics – check what is working and where potential buyers drop out of the funnel. Go back and tweak some more. Need help? Click Here to contact OpenMoves for a usability and conversion audit of your site.